Social Media Influencer Marketing is a very tricky industry for brands and Social Influencers. It used to be an effective avenue for brands to create awareness and even get some sales, but lately it hasn’t been working. This is because Social Influencers have been destroying the industry as they forget what brands want. Instead, they just focus on the number game required to get endorsements and collaboration deals.
That said, Social Media Influencer Marketing still works, but now brands have to put in more effort to identify which influencers are worth the investment and which are just pretenders. To be a proper Social Media Influencer, one has to look at the big picture and ask real questions like How will this help the brand reach their KPI or How do I influencer more people to buy this product? If you, like the other 6 billion other people in the world, dream of becoming a successful Social Media Influencer, here are some good tips to follow:
Find a Niche and Stick To It
Marketers always say that “If everyone is your target Audience, then you have no Target Audience.” Start by figuring out which topic you want to talk about. Anything from Food, Travelling, Books, Football and Cars will work.
From there, you can narrow down further to give yourself a better identity. For example, you can focus on hunting for street food, or Track Racing. Brands in similar industries will have a significantly higher interest in working with you if they see that you have the Target Audience they want.
One good way to see if you have a wide enough niche is be putting those keywords through the Facebook Ads Manager and Google Keyword Planner. Facebook Ads Manager will return you an estimate number of users interested in the topic, while Google Keyword Planner will show you how many people search for relevant keywords every month.
Do Not Game The System
Many Social Influencers today are focused on the numbers it takes to ‘qualify’ as an influencer, like number of Followers, Likes, and Engagement. But when it comes down to it, brands are not just looking at those metrics. In order to be a good influencer, you have to think and plan on behalf of your brands, and brands are interested in awareness and selling.
If an influencer pays to gain Followers, there’s a very high chance that most of them are fake. And fake people do not need products and services, which also means your collaboration with a brand will most probably not yield the desired outcome for the brand. Even if you manage to pull this off once of twice, you will not be able to build a sustainable influencer/brand relationship with fake Followers.
Instead, focus on creating long term and sustainable content that slowly grow real Followers and keep them coming back. Cross promote on all your social media platforms, and share them with relevant people like Facebook Groups. Keep hustling, stay on track and see your high quality Following grow exponentially.
Actually Be Influential
Let’s say that you do get a healthy Following on your Social Media, and some brands approach you to promote their products. Majority of influencers work so hard to get brand collaboration deals, only to publish one or two generic posts describing how ‘awesome’ the product is and attaching a promo code.
While it is minimally adequate to attach a generic photo with a tasteless description, that is hardly how the job of influencing works. Instead, bring it around with you, adopt it into your daily life, actually be seen using it, and go through the effort of creating a month-long campaign for this product.
Your Followers not only like the content you create but also start to feel connected to you as a personality. And because of that, what you wear and use while appearing in videos and images will seem a lot more attractive to your Followers. So it would be a lot more helpful to brands if you give their products more air time and personal touch.
Keep Track of Your Real Metrics
Vanity Metrics such as Likes, Followers and Engagements are nice to see but may not translate into what brands are actually looking for. It would be helpful to see yourself as a brand, and a brand should always keep track of their own Actionable Metrics. Actionable Metrics are numbers and reports that can be translated into efforts. Examples include number of Impressions, Leads and Call to Actions.
When brands approach you for an Awareness collaboration, start a month-long campaign where your purpose is to maximise Impression and Reach of your posts to your audience. Then keep track of it along the way, and put it down into paper after the campaign is done. This can be used not only to learn if your tactics are effective, but also help give brands a sense of comfort that you know what you are doing.
Communicate and be Social
Once you become an Influencer, you are a public figure of sorts. And a big part of your responsibility to maintain good relationships with your audience is through two-way communication.
By taking time to respond to texts, you are not only providing yourself an insightful feedback platform but also strengthening your relationship with the audience. So take some time off your busy schedule every day to be sociable on Social Media. If you are feeling adventurous, run polls to get audience feedback on content to get more involvement so they feel a part of your creative process.
The Gist Of It All
Being a good Social Media Influencer boils down to mindset and the ability to think on behalf of brands. Build compelling and sustainable content that has a healthy number of audience, and constantly maintain communication with them. Always be going through the right processes of asking the right questions, planning your campaign through the Sales Funnel, and measuring all outcomes. Most importantly having the patience and grit to grind through the beginning, always believing that growth in Social Media is exponential.